Be Indian, Buy Indian! Locals prefer Desi Rakhis over Chinese Made?
Mangaluru: On the coming days many will be celebrating the beautiful festival of Raksha Bandhan. Yes, 7th of August is a day of brothers and sisters to share their affection for each other. In India this festival is celebrated with lots of joy and enthusiasm. All brothers take a great oath to safeguard their sister throughout the lifetime and provide them tender care. This day/date carries a lot of importance to people of India but also become a great opportunity for the Chinese businessmen to exploit the Indian economy. In spite of all the evil acts of China towards India, there is still a market provided to these double faced. China is still on the scene in selling their Rakhi made there. They are just decreasing the value of India and it’s festival.
No doubt that China-made Rakhis jostle with traditional Indian ones for attention. Following closely behind are other cartoon characters like Ben 10, Spiderman and Chota Bheem with Bal Ganesh being a perennial favourite of course. Like every year, this year too Rakhi sellers in the city have come up with attractive designs and themes for Raksha Bandhan.
The designs are clearly demarcated for children and adults. Shop owners say the demand for new designs is high. Sunder Patel a shop owner on Market Road says,”Bracelet-like rakhis, which were introduced a couple of years ago, have now become broader and more complex. Rakhis decorated with stones and strings cost anything from Rs 50 to Rs 200.” Major shops have introduced designs in gold and silver, starting from Rs 500-Rs 1,000. But despite this influx of new designs, customers remain faithful to traditional designs of Gonda incorporating Kalash and Om.
As far as children are concerned, cartoon characters continue to be in demand. “Angry Birds, Ben 10, Chhota Bheem and Ganesha rakhis have been hugely popular and their affordable prices are a huge plus point. Costing Rs 15 at the most, Sponge Bob and Spiderman rakhis in fibre, rubber or other synthetic materials are also a huge hit,” says Ramesh, a storekeeper at Central Market area. Mahesh, a stall owner on Bunder Road says,”Cartoon Rakhis were introduced a few years ago but the range of cartoons has increased now. We also have Kung Fu Panda, Krishna and Hanuman rakhis. Doraemon figurines and plastic items are also in high demand. We also keep rakhis which have built-in LED lights and sound systems. Battery-operated rakhis are quite popular with small kids, but these products do not have a long shelf life and high usage can ruin it in a day,”
Guru, who owns a shop on the busy market road says,”Sales have picked up over the last couple of weeks. For the last few days, the rush has only been increasing. People are now buying not only Rakhis but also greeting cards which come along with them. Colour and design coordinated Rakhis and cards come together in gift packs for Rs 50 and above. Shanthi, an employee at a fancy items shop said, “Surprisingly people are boycotting Chinese rakhis. People are slowly opting out of buying Chinese products. The sentiment with Rakhi is strong this time, where many prefer traditional Indian made Rakhis”
“Traditionally, rakhis are made of the raw thread which is believed to protect the life of brothers. The rakhis from China are made of metals and ribbons. Last year, when I had bought a Chinese bracelet rakhi for my brother, my mother asked me to return it and exchange it with the one made of raw thread. I also heard that Chinese rakhis contained lead, which is harmful to the skin. A few years back, there had been reports that the toys made in China had lead mixed in the colour. I have been boycotting all Chinese products since then, “said Jyothi, a B Com student, who was shopping at Forum Mall.
Call it patriotism, if you will, or going by the popular mood, but it is a fact that Chinese Rakhis have virtually disappeared or not much liked by many lately. Of course, one has to take the word of the sellers in the makeshift rakhi shops that have mushroomed all over the city for it, as visually there is little difference between Chinese and made in India rakhis. “The Chinese ones are more attractive and the size and shape of the sequins are also different”, explains Javed, barely into his teens, as he hawks his rakhis in Central Market area. Since Indian made rakhis have spiraled this year, but the sellers are also blaming GST and of course, ‘note bandi’.
“Our sales are down 50 to 60 per cent due to GST as well as people not buying Chinese rakhis. After the implementation of GST, we are paying 12 per cent tax. So we too have hiked the price of rakhi and are now selling it for Rs 20, the price of which was Rs 10 earlier. We earned huge profit by selling Chinese’s Rakhis due to its cheap pricing. We could bargain with customers easily,” said Jitendra.
“We have around 50 to 60 varieties of rakhis of different states including Varanasi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Jaipur. It range starts from Rs 10 to Rs 800. A rakhi named ‘bahubali is popular among customers. Its price is Rs 400 each. We also have gold plated rakhi in bracelet form the price of which is Rs 800. Market is a bit down than last year. I think it may be due to GST as well as people not buying Chinese Rakhis.The prices of rakhis have increased than last year. Even after paying so much, we are not getting the variety and quality of rakhis which we used to get earlier.”” said Raghu, who owns a cosmetic and fancy items store.
” I fully agree with the statement not to buy any Chinese item as the war situation is going on. Even I discourage everyone not to buy Chinese things, but it’s not so easy as we are already habituated to use either China made Items or some products which are manufactured in China, like even Apple iPhone. By eating Chinese food we are promoting their food and culture, so I think this will become just a topic of discussion not to buy for some time being and people will again buy when they will find cheaper price than Indian made, still we should all try maximum to avoid Chinese things” said Manish, a bank employee, who was buying Rakhis for his daughters..
Madhukar, a professor at an Engineering college said, “No one should purchase China made Rakhis. This celebration is to show the love and affection between the sisters and brothers. This is to show the commitment of the brothers in protecting the sisters. To express this Rakhi will be tied. The importance of the festival and its value will be known to Indians only. Hence we also should go for Rakhis made in India. China is trying to decrease the value of our country as well as the festival. So we all should boycott China made Rakhis. In fact, it is wise to boycott all Chinese made items and opt for Indian make. That will give a very good boost to our economy. So we all should understand the advantage of purchasing India made items and don’t encourage foreign countries by purchasing their items.”
“Why only Chinese Rakhi? Why should we not boycott everything Chinese? The festive season is round the corner. Crackers worth crores of rupees are burnt during the Dasara and Diwali festivals. Most of these crackers come from China. People like to buy them as they are cheap and have varieties. But if we think seriously, we are depriving our own firework industries by buying those crackers. Then there are other Chinese products we are consuming in our day to day lives. That country is getting huge sums of money from us as profit and definitely, some part of it is being used for developing weapons and raising their muscle power to threaten our country. Therefore, I think that it is the duty of every conscious Indian to boycott their products and fight against them on the economical front.” said a hard-core member of a saffron group who wanted to remain anonymous.
Anyways, well said by everyone. Wish you all brothers and sisters a “Happy Raksha Bandhan” well in advance.